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What is Milk? Plant Based vs Mammal Based - Detailed Studies and Analysis.

According to top definitions, milk is something that is secreted by mammals. These top definition include Britanica, The Food Chemistry Handbook and the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India Which is the food regulatory body in India.

Now there’s a new industry, the plant based milk industry that has been claiming a stake to the term milk without any connections to Mammals.

And this has upset a lot of people.

So let’s look at this conflict from two sides. First let’s look at the plant based milk industry.

Now this industry has a lot of valid reasons for producing plant based milk.

Almost 65% of the global population is lactose intolerant - which means they can’t tolerate milk.

The other reason is that cattle is very poorly treated in dairy farming practices.

So plant based milk is a great alternative to regular milk. But the likes of Amul which is a company in India, they’ve been very vocal about their annoyance of these companies using the term ‘Milk’.

And according to certain reports, they’ve been suggesting taking these companies to the court.

Even the Food regulatory body of India, has issued an announcement saying that they were considering the ban of terms such as ‘Milk’ and ‘Cheese’ for plant based products.

According to the head of this body, he mentioned that if instead of Milk, if the term beverage were to be used, things would be a lot less confusing.

His contention was very simple. Like you take a product like almond milk, people would easily get confused into thinking that this was cow’s milk with a nutty flavor. So instead if the term ‘beverage’ were to be used, things would be much more clearer. But the plant based industry believes otherwise.

According to research, 70% of Indians know the difference between cow milk and plant based milk. So if these industries had to re-brand, these industries would be affected and with it, producers and consumers would be affected too.

But there is another reason, why the Milk industry has been pushing for stricter labeling norms for Milk.

This has to do with the nutrition quality of milk.

According to a study published by the Journal of Food science and technology, plant based milk, in terms of nutrition quality, comes nowhere close in terms of the nutritional quality of regular cow milk.

Though they also mentioned that Soya Milk has a much more well-balanced nutrition component towards it, people should still exercise some sort of caution in substituting cows milk for plant based milk.

According to another study, published by the journal of pediatric gastroenterology and nutrition - cow’s milk should not be replaced with plant based milk, until the nutrition value and bio-availability is well established.

And this is why the Milk Industry has been pushing for stricter labeling norms. But what do you feel about this topic? Do you think plant based milk can be called milk or not? Let us know in the comments below.

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